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What Does Facebook’s New Change Mean for Marketing?

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Mark Zuckerberg recently announced a big shift in how Facebook’s news feed will work, and it’s not making digital marketers very happy. Zuckerberg wants to return Facebook to its roots as a way for individuals to connect with loved ones.

What he didn’t say was that the company was stung by revelations about Facebook being misused in the last US presidential election or the rise of ‘fake news’. He’s framing the changes in terms of user experience. That is a good nudge to everyone using the Internet to market. Users should be central to everything, and keeping that focus will help brands navigate the changes.

In the short-term, Zuckerberg predicts that people will spend less time on Facebook, and that they will focus on connecting with other people. Facebook will prioritize content from individuals over posts from company pages and news. But that isn’t reason to panic. It’s really a matter of quality over quantity.

Keeping the Focus on the User, Where It Belongs

While Zuckerberg is talking about how the network can add to people’s happiness by fostering human connections, the real issue is the user’s experience on the platform. People are on Facebook primarily to connect with each other, and brands that have used social media successfully have always known this. Engagement should be the goal of any marketing on social media, but, while likes and time spent watching small videos are helpful, these engagement metrics can be somewhat shallow. The new changes at Facebook nudge us to prioritize what users really connect with.

Of course, Facebook will still sell ads. And arguably, this change will add to the value – and eventually the cost – of paying for advertising on Facebook. Again, this is not entirely new. Paid reach has long been an effective way for brands to use the platform.

Facebook will remain an important marketing tool, although that is not and never has been the platform’s primary purpose. This is a good opportunity for brands to take a good, hard look at how they use all social media, not just Facebook, and refocus on quality content over quantity. Brands that produce engaging content that offers the audience useful information won’t be hurt in the long run.

But those that bombard their audience with sales-oriented posts will feel some pain. As always, it is imperative to really know your audience and to give them what they are seeking. And they will seek. People will still follow pages and share posts when pages give them content they value.

Still concerned about how these Facebook policy changes affect your business? Why not contact our expert Digital Marketing team today for some advice?

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